About a month ago I received an email from Erik Wesner asking me to review his new book "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive."\u00a0 I said "Yes" because I was completely intrigued by the topic.\u00a0 This is about the second time in as many months as I've seen Amish and business success linked together. And I couldn't wait to receive the review copy of the book and see what all the chatter was about. I wondered what it was about Amish simplicity that called to Erik Wesner over the siren song of technology, social media-driven relationships and mobile apps that the rest of us have been following. Erik Wesner Was Inspired By The Amish After getting about a hundred pages into the book, my curiosity got the best of me.\u00a0 So I reached out with an e-mail and asked Erik Wesner what inspired him to become an expert on the Amish and to write this book.\u00a0 Here's what he said: "I was really impressed by the caliber of Amish companies.\u00a0 All the informal indicators were there; these small shops were very busy, they were getting a lot of outside attention, and even in plain Amish society you could see indicators of financial success among the businesspeople. I ran my own business in Amish\u00a0 communities. \u00a0\u00a0After selling in non-Amish communities, you see certain cultural contrasts.\u00a0 And that is what intrigued me.\u00a0 This includes everything from an appreciation for books, to an inherent anti-waste mentality, to an emphasis on relationships.\u00a0 For instance, I found Amish always know their neighbors, something I found a lot less likely in "English" communities (and I'm guilty of this myself).\u00a0 Not to "nostalgize" the Amish too much, but I feel a lot of these traits are things we once "knew" as a society but have maybe lost touch with a bit.\u00a0" Everything Old is New Again This is a wonderful book given the volatile state of the business climate these days.\u00a0 There's nothing like going back to basics when the world around you is changing.\u00a0 And that's exactly what "Success Made Simple" does. This book is really multi-functional depending on how you choose to read it. You can read it as a research report.\u00a0 Erik Wesner interviewed dozens of Amish business owners and entrepreneurs.\u00a0 You really get an appreciation of Wesner's relationship skills when you learn how humble these Amish entrepreneurs are.\u00a0 Unlike today's titans of industry, these low-key business heroes are authentically surprised at why we should think that what they're doing is all that special.\u00a0 In fact, they shy away from taking any personal credit or pride in their success.\u00a0 Instead, choosing to put the focus where it belongs - in the hands of God. You can read it as a story or a real-life novel.\u00a0 Erik does a masterful job of weaving an engaging story around his experiences within the Amish business community.\u00a0\u00a0 You'll meet dozens of Amish business owners who quietly share their "secrets" to running a business, growing a business, hiring people and building lasting and profitable relationships with their customers.\u00a0 You'll find yourself getting close to these admirable characters. And when you DO read this, here are just a few of the principles you'll learn: The two "F-words" Amish businesses deal with: Fear and Faith.\u00a0 They don't pretend to know everything.\u00a0 In fact, they acknowledge that fear of the unknown is real.\u00a0 But then they lean on their faith to get through it. Relationships are everything.\u00a0 It starts with their relationship with God, then with their family, their community and their customers.\u00a0 Each one is a natural and authentic part of their daily lives.\u00a0 In a conversation with Jonas, Werner learns that "If you're a servant-leader, that means other people are gonna come first.\u00a0 People have to be very important to youyou're not in it for the dollar anymore, you're in it to help people.\u00a0 And the profits?\u00a0 They come." At the end of each chapter, Wesner pulls together a simple summary that pulls all the interviews together into a summary of core principles.\u00a0 Here is an example of some points from the sales and marketing chapter: Marketing won't solve the fundamental problem of a subpar product. A businesses unique story can form the basis of its marketing approach. Marketing is relationship building.\u00a0 Those who follow-up with a personalized response get noticed. Here is my favorite point from the "Doing Unto Others" chapter. The customer is always right - even when he's wrong.\u00a0 But only to a point.\u00a0 He stops being right when you have to compromise your integrity or sacrifice your resources beyond a predetermined acceptable level. The recent economic meltdown has made me a big fan of a "back to basics" strategy.\u00a0\u00a0 And now you have a book that gives you everything you'll need to help you take a fresh new look at your core business.